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Kongsberg, Nettstudier
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Robust Engineering

Interested in studying for a masters' degree whilst working? Or would you like to participate in a single course for Professional Development?

What is Robust Engineering?

The goal with this course (SERE 6302) is to:

  • Convey the basic principles of Robust Design and Engineering
  • Form a deeper understanding of the customer value of a product
  • Get a deeper understanding of quality and its relation to robustness

Historical background of Robust Design and the contributions from Dr. Genichi Taguchi. The concept of Robust Design. Definition of customer value. The evolution of customer value over time. A product’s interaction with the customer thru various stages. Needs, Functions, Solutions and Processes. Contributions to customer value expressed in a functional domain. Definition of quality and robustness. Reduction of variability and adjustment of mean. Noise factors and control parameters. Signal-to-Noise ratio and Response tables. Ideal function. Noise strategies. P diagram. Orthogonal arrays. Interactions between control parameters. The quadratic loss function. Analysis of experimental data in Excel. Hands-on optimization of a simple design.

Why take this course

All needs are translated into the set of stakeholder requirements that trigger the design and development of a system. Among those requirements, some will address non-functional needs such as the availability or reliability required for the system. Reliability engineering is thus an essential discipline in any engineering effort. Little is know in general about it, and that is the reason for many mistakes at all phases in the life cycle, from ill definition of requirements, to improper validation of the proposed solution. A solid foundation on reliability engineering is a fantastic complement for any other education and skills. It leverages the design and development of systems that truly meet customer’s needs and expectations. Furthermore, the optimization of the design poses many challenges. It is not always known the influence of the different design parameters on the quality attributes of the system, as well as their relative importance. The identification of the contribution of each parameter, its ideal value and the acceptable tolerance levels can be determined reducing dramatically the number of required test cases, using the Taguchi methods. Those methods are an extremely powerful technique for improving any design, with significantly reduced time and costs involved. The combination of reliability engineering and Taguchi methods is known as Robust Engineering. It helps design and develop products that are robust, that is, that meet customer’s requirements (including non-functional ones) and whose performance is not influenced by external factors.

Who should take this course

Any engineer will significantly benefit from this course. It gives any systems engineer a quantum leap in terms of capability to assist in the improvement of any design. The reliability techniques and the Taguchi methods can be applied to anything, whether it is the design of a home appliance, or the most complex space system. Robust engineering requires the use of advanced mathematical models. The way in which they are presented in the course make it easy to understand and master. The course is unique as it involves the building of a system or an artefact, to which the methods learned in class can be applied in order to improve the design and the performance of the system. It is a combination of solid and rigorous conceptual education, coupled with a most exciting and fun hands-on experimentation. Any engineer, no matter what background, will find extremely useful the methods addressed in this course. No wonder SERE has become the most popular elective in the Systems Engineering program!


The courses are a mixture of lectures and work in groups.  Master students and others taking courses for credit will work on a written assignment which is due 10 weeks after the end of the course.  A completed course with an approved written assignment will give 7.5 study points. Full attendance during the intensive course week is obligatory. The maximum amount of hours that can be missed is 4, duly justified, and never on Friday (day of team project presentations).


The price for attending a course depends on whether you take the course for credit or not.  To get credit for the course, you need to hand in a written assignment.

  • Alternative 1: Attendance only kr. 17.000,-
  • Alternative 2: Attendance and written assignment kr. 23.000,-

For alternative 2, the price also includes supervision and grading of the written assignment.


The registration deadline for each course is 2 weeks before the course starts.

We accept registrations also after the deadline, provided there are available seats. Each course has a limited number of seats, so please sign up early. We reserve the right to cancel courses with too low participation.

Kontaktinformasjon til Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

Hasbergsvei 36
3616 Kongsberg

Tlf: 31 00 80 00


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